Free or Reduced School Meals
For purposes of this procedural directive, “school meal program” means a program under which meals are served by a public school in the district on a nonprofit basis to students attending the school.
For purposes of this procedural directive, “traditional Albuquerque Public School” means an elementary or secondary school fully administered by the Albuquerque Public School district which convenes during the conventional school day. It excludes alternative schools, charter schools, locally authorized charter schools and evening schools.
For purposes of this procedural directive, “fair hearing official” means a person who is not involved in the original eligibility determination under appeal or any previous conference.
The district shall enter and maintain an agreement with the New Mexico Public Education Department to establish a school meal program to all traditional Albuquerque Public School students. Students from families whose income is at or below that listed in the Family Size/Income Scale published by the United States Department of Agriculture shall be eligible for free or reduced price meals.
Compliance of this agreement shall be required at all meal locations. The agreement consists of the following:
The District agrees that there shall be no physical segregation or discrimination against any child because of his/her ability or inability to pay the full price of a meal.
- A blank application and a letter to the parent(s)/legal guardian(s) shall be sent home with every student at the beginning of each school year. Additional applications will be available in each school site principal’s office for new students entering school. The Food and Nutrition Services director will provide the information to be sent home to parents/legal guardians.
- According to the agreement, the Food and Nutrition Services director and his/her designees shall be the responsible agents for determining eligibility for free and/or reduced meals.
- Applications for free or reduced meals shall be completed by the parents/legal guardians and returned to the school’s cafeteria manager within two days of receipt. Applications shall be filled out at the beginning of each year. Families shall fill out only one application and include all their students who attend Albuquerque Public Schools on the student section of the one application. Applications are also available on line through the Albuquerque Public Schools website in the Food and Nutrition Services Department section.
- An up-to-date, confidential list of students approved for free and/or reduced meals shall be maintained by Food and Nutrition Services. Individual eligibility status of students shall remain confidential. Access to these student records is available only to selected food and nutrition service personnel and Medicaid personnel. Requests for this information shall be forwarded to the Food and Nutrition Services director.
- All applications shall be kept on hand at the Food and Nutrition Services Department for five (5) years. Individual eligibility status of students shall remain confidential. Access to these records is available only to selected food service personnel and Medicaid personnel. All requests for this information shall be forwarded to the Food and Nutrition Services director.
- Parents whose children have not been found eligible for free or reduced meals shall have the right of appeal before a Fair Hearing Official. Request for a review of eligibility must be in writing and addressed to the Food and Nutrition Services director.
Any overt identification of students is against administrative procedure and federal regulations. Uniform collection procedures using a computerized point of sale and student identification numbers shall be used along with the exchange of cash in payment for meals.
Annually the Albuquerque Public Schools Communications Office shall publicly announce the availability of free and/or reduced meals. Information regarding free and reduced meals shall also be available on the Albuquerque Public Schools Food and Nutrition Services Department website.
Administrative Position: Chief Operations Officer
Department Director: Director of Food and Nutrition Services
Legal Cross Ref.:
- USDA Policy for Free and Reduced Meal Applications
- §22-13-13 NMSA 1978
- §22-9-1 NMSA 1978
- §22-9-2 NMSA 1978
- §22-9-5 NMSA 1978
Board Policy Cross Ref.:
Procedural Directive Cross Ref.:
NSBA/NEPN Classification: EFC, EFI
Revised: May 1995
Revised: April 1996
Revised: May 1997
Revised: May 22, 2000
Revised: July, 2009
Revised: February 2010